adjective, greed·i·er, greed·i·est.

excessively or inordinately desirous of wealth, profit, etc.; avaricious: the greedy owners of the company.
having a strong or great desire for food or drink.
keenly desirous; eager (often followed by of or for): greedy for praise.

Origin of greedy

before 900; Middle English gredy, Old English grædig; cognate with Old Norse grāthugr, Gothic gredags
Related formsgreed·i·ly, adverbgreed·i·ness, nouno·ver·greed·i·ly, adverbo·ver·greed·i·ness, nouno·ver·greed·y, adjectiveun·greed·y, adjective

Synonyms for greedy

Synonym study

1, 3. See avaricious.

Antonyms for greedy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for greediness

Historical Examples of greediness

  • Rgina was greedy, but her pride was greater than her greediness.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Besides, in spite of her greediness, she remained so nice and good!


    Emile Zola

  • That oath I took with a greediness born of my fear of the death that was impending.

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini

  • When the pope heard these words he actually shook all over with greediness.

    Russian Fairy Tales

    W. R. S. Ralston

  • It was no disloyalty to Tim; it was no greediness for name and wealth.


    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for greediness


adjective greedier or greediest

excessively desirous of food or wealth, esp in large amounts; voracious
(postpositive foll by for) eager (for)a man greedy for success
Derived Formsgreedily, adverbgreediness, noun

Word Origin for greedy

Old English grǣdig; related to Old Norse grāthugr, Gothic grēdags hungry, Old High German grātac
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for greediness

Old English grædignes; see greedy + -ness.



Old English grædig (West Saxon), gredig (Anglian) "voracious," also "covetous," from Proto-Germanic *grædagaz (cf. Old Saxon gradag "greedy," Old Norse graðr "greed, hunger," Danish graadig, Dutch gretig, Old High German gratag "greedy"), from *græduz (cf. Gothic gredus "hunger," Old English grædum "eagerly"), possibly from PIE root *gher- "to like, want" (cf. Sanskrit grdh "to be greedy").

In Greek, the word was philargyros, literally "money-loving." A German word for it is habsüchtig, from haben "to have" + sucht "sickness, disease," with sense tending toward "passion for."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper